The HyperMediaLibrary is a searchable dataset of over 20,000 individual videos, mostly from YouTube, aggregated from 300 different Canadian arts organizations who share their content freely online.
Like many small cultural organizations, even if we make great content the structure of the current media environment is stacked against us. We started this project to explore how aggregation as a strategy could help us connect to the broader Canadian cultural ecosystem and build new pathways between ourselves and others, but also offer tools for others to shape and reshape nodes on their networks.
We believe strongly in the relationship between making and thinking at Artengine, and we wanted to work on this prototype not only as a specific way to address the problem of being a small fish in an ocean of content, but to engage with the existing infrastructure and produce a set of digital objects that could be played with, pulled apart, contextualized and interrogated. Our hope for the prototype is that it helps test out the possibilities of how we work together (even when we might not know it) and provoke discussion in our community about how we use and understand network infrastructure.
We focused our attention on arts organizations in Canada and built our list of channels based on the open data from various funding agencies at the national and provincial levels. We began with the Canada Council for the Arts and cross referenced it with other funding bodies. The Canada Council has a Category of Data called Field of Practice and we used this as a way to focus the creation of our list.
In the Field of Practice we chose to focus on the following: Visual Arts, Media Arts, Digital Arts, Indigenous Arts, Inter-Arts and Deaf and Disability Arts.
We excluded the Performing Arts (Theater, Music and Dance) as we felt it was likely to include more actual art works (particularly during the COVID era of posting).
This initial approach is informed by several key assumptions.